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Europe: Sensor technology on shelf life of fish

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A sensor that can register smoke from a fire can also be used to register even the faintest odor of bad fish.

This is what a team of students behind the recently started business, Fishent, discovered.

Their idea and business model were elected as the winner of Spin Out Day on May 26, 2017.

The team won 50,000 DKK (US$ 7,647.03) and a stay at Berkeley University to participate in an innovation camp this summer.

Applications for sensor technology

Can you use the sensor technology from a smoke detector for other purposes?

The team of students behind Fishent were asked this question as part of their assignment at the course Innovation and Product Development, a question they answered by developing a prototype to be used at fish auctions.

When you insert a box of fish into it, the sensors detect and measure the fish odor and the software estimates the quality of the fish.

The team has also developed a software for analyzing the data that the sensors collect.

This evaluation of the fish quality ends up with a label with a number indicating how many days the fish will stay fresh.

The Innovation and Product Development module is a Masters of Science course at Technical University of Denmark, where teams of students develop and start new businesses on the basis of patents and new technology.

Each spring, the course is finished by Spin Out Day, an event where all teams present their ideas and business models for representatives from the trades and industries.

Solving a problem for the fishing industry

The recently started business has already received an enthusiastic feedback from the fish industry.

To precisely evaluate the shelf life of fish, companies need to know how long ago the fish were caught and how well they were stored before the auction.

The longer shelf life of the fish, the more value it has for the dealers – so a precise measuring of the freshness of the fish is worth its weight in gold.

“We have been in contact with Hirtshals fish auction,” relates Alina Ciobanu, CEO and strategic partnerships and customer acquisition of Fishent, “as well as Hanstholm and Gilleleje fish auctions.”

“We got a very positive response. When I say “positive response”, I mean in relation to the value our product can create at the fish market, in Denmark and globally.”

Article by Lisbeth Lassen, Technical University of Denmark